You have a statutory right to inspect a vast number of North Carolina’s public records using the state's public records law, which states that public records constitute property of “the people”.
The term "public record" refers to all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, tapes, or electronic data made or received in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina. Below are some key types of records that are available to the public and how to obtain them.
Are birth records public in North Carolina?
Uncertified birth records are available to the general public in North Carolina. Anyone can request them. To request a certified copy of a birth certificate, you must be a direct family member by blood or marriage, a registrant, or their legal guardian or representative.
How do you order a copy of a birth certificate in North Carolina?
To order a copy of certificates of births after 1913, submit a request to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. For births before 1913, contact the local Register of Deeds office in the county where the birth occurred. Mail your application for a copy of a birth certificate to:
North Carolina Vital Records
1903 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1903
A cashier’s check or money order made payable to N.C. Vital Records should also accompany the application. For information of the latest fees regarding the release of your North Carolina Birth Certificate you can contact the NCDHHS Office of Vital Records.
The processing time for standard orders for birth certificates from 1971 to present may take up to five weeks, while standard orders for other types of certificates may take six to eight weeks. Requests sent in along with an expedite fee are usually processed within three to five business days of receipt.
Are death certificates public records in North Carolina?
Death certificates are considered public records in North Carolina. Anyone can request an uncertified North Carolina death record, but they will need specific information about the deceased, such as: the name as it was stated on the certificate, the date of death, the location, city, and or county.
How do you get a copy of a death certificate in North Carolina?
The state office of North Carolina has records of all deaths in North Carolina dating back to 1930. To obtain a death certificate of a person who died after 1930, submit a request to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. For death certificates prior to 1930, contact the North Carolina State Archives. If you are requesting a certified copy, you need to be directly related to the deceased or a legal representation of one of the family members, and you will need to state this relationship on the application for the death certificate.
Are adoption records public in North Carolina?
Adoption records are sealed at the time of adoption and are not available to the general public. Adoptees seeking to find their birth parents can seek a confidential intermediary to access their sealed records and contact the birth parents. They can then share the adoption records if all parties consent.
Are North Carolina marriage records public?
Marriage records are public in North Carolina. Anyone can request an uncertified copy for a small fee. Certified copies of marriage certificates may only be ordered by the bride, the groom, immediate relatives or an authorized legal representative.
How do you order a copy of a marriage certificate in North Carolina?
The North Carolina Office of Vital Records maintains vital records for marriages after 1962. You can order a certified copy of a marriage certificate from them. For marriage records prior to 1962, contact the county register of deeds in the county where the marriage occurred.
Are divorce records public in North Carolina?
Uncertified divorce records are available to anyone that requests them in North Carolina. Certified copies of divorce records are have restrictions on who can order them. Both certified and uncertified divorce records after 1958 may be ordered from the North Carolina Office of Vital Records. Records prior to 1958 can be ordered from the county clerk of the Superior Court where the divorce was filed.
You can search through North Carolina jail and inmate records through the Department of Corrections by name, offender number, or birth date.
Take a look through the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation’s unsolved crimes by name, including photos and charges.
You can view names of individuals and business that owe delinquent taxes to the state by visiting the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
You can search through the results of North Carolina’s restaurant inspection scores by county using restaurant names or zip codes. The North Carolina Division of Environmental Health maintains these records.
Sex Offender Records
Information on registered sex offenders is made available for purposes of protecting the public, for keeping them informed, and for allowing them to take proactive measures to ensure safety in their communities. You can find out this information by searching through the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry.
For numerous reasons, there are many out there who have unclaimed property or cash rights that they have unknowingly accrued along the way. Curious to find out if you might be one of those people? Search through North Carolina State Treasurer’s unclaimed property records by individual or business name to see if it might be your lucky day.
How do you request public records in North Carolina?
You can largely request records via telephone, fax, mail, or in person. However, agencies may require that the requests be written. Although you may direct your request to any employee within the agency, the custodian of public records is officially in charge of access to public records. Consequently, you may want to contact the custodian directly if possible. Try to make your request as specific as possible so the custodian of public records can easily find the document you are seeking.